Sk’atsin Silvatech Ventures’ Ty Moynahan and Riley Conner remove narrow logs from an area of Little Mountain Park as part of the City of Salmon Arm’s ongoing wildfire fuel management efforts under its Community Wildfire Protection Plan. (File photo)

Sk’atsin Silvatech Ventures’ Ty Moynahan and Riley Conner remove narrow logs from an area of Little Mountain Park as part of the City of Salmon Arm’s ongoing wildfire fuel management efforts under its Community Wildfire Protection Plan. (File photo)

Concern raised over logging in Salmon Arm parks

Public meeting planned to take place at Little Mountain

The city is logging our woodland parks.

Little Mountain Park is in the process of being extensively logged. Park Hill is next and then Coyote Park, although neither of these latter two parks is slated to be logged as much as Little Mountain Park.

All of this logging is supposed to make us safer from forest fires. Yet in 1998, when a forest fire was on our very doorstep and firefighting crews were working to create fire guards along the base of Mount Ida, no one said, “If only we had logged our woodland parks, our homes would be safe now.”

Of course not. The true danger from fire is in the foothills surrounding our city, not in our parks.

The city’s own Community Energy and Emissions Plan states that “Community planning which preserves the surrounding natural environment can have significant health and well-being impacts.”

Surely preserving the beauty, serenity, peace and privacy of places for our citizens to walk in nature is more important than the very limited benefit such a moon-scaping of our environment would have in preventing or mitigating a forest fire.

Another concern is the decision to do this logging appears to have been made without any consultation with park user. Such a radical change to our parks should never have been undertaken without extensive public consultation. The city asks for input when other public facilities are being changed. Widespread input was solicited on the planned upgrading of the aquatic centre. The future of Lakeshore Road even warranted a public survey.

Why weren’t park users consulted?

Read more: Deadfalls in Salmon Arm pose risk for wildfires

Read more: Salmon Arm council’s concerns eased over Mount Ida logging

Read more: Public asked to be mindful of wildfire mitigation work underway at Salmon Arm park

Consultation could have been done by posting signs at park entrances; putting a notice in the newspaper; or doing an online survey.

Even something as simple as a heads-up phone call to the naturalist club would have been helpful. Ideally, consultation needs to be done at the very beginning of the planning process – not after city staff have spent hours producing (and committing to) a plan of action.

Better late than never though. I ask that the city do this consultation work now.

Find out whether our citizens truly want this logging.

A good start would be to attend a meeting on this issue being held at 2:30 p.m. on May 20 at the Field of Dreams entry to Little Mountain Park. Everyone is welcome.

Sandra J. Seale

#Salmon Arm